Wednesday General Audience: “As if we were going to Calvary itself”

Source: FSSPX News

Pope Francis is continuing his new series on the Mass: during the general audience on November 22, 2017, he spoke on the theme of Mass as a “memorial”. 


The Mass is a memorial; yet it is “not merely the recollection of past events but makes them in a certain way present and real,” declared the Holy Father.

Insisting upon Christ’s presence during the celebration, Francis added, “we, during Mass, are with Jesus, who died and is Risen, and he draws us forth to eternal life. In the Mass we unite with him. Rather, Christ lives in us and we live in him.”

Alluding to the propitiatory nature of Christ’s sacrifice, the pope recalled that at Mass:

indeed, his Blood frees us from death and from the fear of death. It frees us not only from the dominion of physical death, but from the spiritual death which is evil, sin, which catches us each time we fall victim to our own sin or that of others.

He concluded:

This is the Mass: to enter this passion, death, resurrection, ascension of Jesus; when we go to Mass it is as if we were going to Calvary itself.... It is not a spectacle.

In the interest of being more complete, it is important to recall that, in their Brief Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae, edited in 1969, Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci protested against the term “Memorial of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord”, saying it was inexact. They recalled that the Mass is:

the memorial of the Sacrifice alone, in itself redemptive, whilst the Resurrection is the consequent fruit of it.